Billings, Mont. R-CALFUSA CEO Bill Bullard today eagerly accepted an invitation from KSDZ-FM in Gordon, Neb., to a live debate streamed on the Internet at 6:30 p.m. MDT on Monday, Aug. 9, 2010, with leaders from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), the American Meat Institute (AMI) and the National Meat Association (NMA). The subject will be the current state of competition in the U.S. cattle and beef industries. KSDZ-FM owner Jim Lambley will serve as moderator of the event.
"R-CALF USA has long maintained that the high level of concentration in the U.S. cattle market enables beef packers to exert buying power that distorts the market, thus enabling them to exploit both cattle producers and consumers, and we believe the current level of industry concentration and the exercise of related buying power continues to cause the exodus of more than 10,000 cattle producers annually, which is a trend we find unacceptable," Bullard said.
"The timing of your debate coincides with the heightened public attention now focused on cattle industry competition, and the other industry representatives whom you have invited hold very different views regarding both the effects of concentration and of buying power," Bullard wrote to Lambley in his RSVP.
"It is important that U.S. cattle producers and other stakeholders be given the opportunity to hear firsthand the positions of their industry's leaders," he continued. "They deserve, for example, to weigh for themselves the points raised by R-CALFUSA against the counterpoints raised by these other leaders. This clash of opposing views will certainly occur during the debate, and through discourse and discussion each individual watching the debate will be able to discover the truth. A debate such as this is far more beneficial to the entire industry than is the mounting heap of political rhetoric and propaganda...